URI receives record number of first-year applications

Despite FAFSA challenges this academic year, interest in University of Rhode Island reaches all-time high

KINGSTON, R.I. – April 5, 2024 – Interest in the University of Rhode Island soared to new levels this year, as the University received a record 26,800 first-year undergraduate applications for the fall 2024 semester, a notable increase from the previous year’s total of 25,391 applications.

According to Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Dean Libutti, URI’s position in the college marketplace remains strong, despite dual challenges of a national trend in declining college enrollments and this year’s changes to the FAFSA. He says URI is defying the odds with growth in both in-state and out-of-state applications.

RAMS WELCOME! URI Orientation leaders are looking forward to welcoming the Class of 2028 to Rhode Island’s flagship university at summer orientation this May and June.

“Gone are the days when URI was Rhode Island’s best-kept secret,” he says. “Prospective students and their families are recognizing the institution’s exceptional academic programs, state-of-the-art facilities, supportive community, value and robust student success programs.”

The admission team reports a surge in applications across colleges and majors, with engineering, nursing, pharmacy, business, and education as particularly popular choices this admissions season.

Students still have until May 15 to make URI their choice.

Debbie Suggs, a director in the undergraduate admission office, says the University is also seeing steady interest and growth from transfer students, adult learners and veterans. And she reports that applications for URI’s Talent Development program were strong, bolstered by admission staff visits to schools across Rhode Island.

“URI is multifaceted,” she says. “We tell people we have everything for all students at the University.”

URI’s Graduate School is also seeing a bump in applications across programs, including a 54% rise in applications in the College of Arts and Sciences, 163% in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences and 51% for the Graduate School of Oceanography.

Money matters

Despite a challenging landscape for colleges in general, URI has sought to remain accessible. For in- and out-of-state students, URI is one of the most affordable state flagship colleges in New England and also ranked in the top third of ‘Best Value Schools’ by U.S. News and World Report.

“Our team worked hard to promote the value of URI and people understand that,” Libutti says. “Students and parents are looking for quality and value; that goes hand in hand with the growth we’re seeing.”

Welcome to the Class of 2028

To date, URI has received applications from all 50 states so next year’s incoming class promises to arrive with great breadth and depth. This year, URI also attracted increasing interest from Rhode Island and New England, as well as California, Florida, Texas and the Mid-Atlantic region.

“The Class of 2024 demonstrated grit and resilience during the challenges of attending high school during COVID over the last four years,” Libutti said. “We can’t wait to welcome them here to have an amazing experience, start to finish.”

Despite the record-breaking number of applications already received, URI is continuing to accept applications for the fall 2024 semester, further underscoring the University’s commitment to providing access to quality education at Rhode Island’s public flagship state university.